Monster Analysis: Nymph

Thanks to @CaptainKatoArt for this piece!

  • First Appearance: 59 The Feywild
  • Armor Class 17
  • Speed 30 ft, Swim 20 ft.
  • Darkvision, Passive 14
  • Blinding Beauty (no action required to activate or drop)
  • 7th-level caster (Druid)
  • Suggested average, max HP: 60, 80

Nymphs didn’t actually make it into the 5e Monster Manual, though they certainly exist in 3.5e and Pathfinder. While the numbers differ a little between the two systems, for the most part, nymphs from both games share much overlap. Nala originated from the gang’s Pathfinder game, so we’re basing her abilities and health from Paizo’s version while using D&D 3.5e to estimate the rest of the numbers to fit 5e.

Nymphs are both the guardians and the elf-like personifications of the area they protect. They do not reproduce but grow up naturally as a result of the pure environment, tending to and protecting it from anyone who would see harm to it (usually through nonlethal measures). Nymphs tend to be very reclusive (as we saw after Nala’s flower withered), but they are willing to provide friendly aid to fellow protectors of the wild, such as rangers or druids.

They are also particularly beautiful, so much so that individuals will seek them out merely to watch them. Of course, this beauty can also stun or even blind weak-willed onlookers, as the nymph’s (free action) blinding beauty is what sets them apart from other creatures of nature. Unlike the fifth edition Blindness spell (which allows Con saves at the end of each turn), Blindness in older editions is a permanent effect that can only be removed with Dispel Magic or Lesser Restoration or better. While Keyleth did meet the Pathfinder “fortitude save” of 21, we’re more inclined toward 3.5e’s 17 as the difficulty class.

Nala met the party before the stream during the quest to remove the phylactery from Grog’s chest. After gaining her favor followed by several moments of implications and nothing more, Grog convinced her to grant him her physical heart, which was put to use to save the goliath. She implied that she has been without it since they parted ways, and only began to regrow it when it was clear that Grog no longer carried it with him, to her dismay.

This previous encounter was likely the only reason Nala agreed to aid the party in the most recent adventure. After Grog was able to show that they meant no ill will to her or the environment (yes, Grog with the diplomacy check), Nala was willing to converse with them on friendly terms and grant them the aid to send them on their quest.